Yanting Pei and Teresa Huang
With the implementation of the Stamp Tax Law of the People’s Republic of China (hereinafter referred to as the “Stamp Tax Law”) on July 1, 2022, the State Taxation Administration also issued a series of announcements to facilitate the implementation of the new Stamp Tax Law, including the Announcement  No. 14 (hereinafter referred to as the “Announcement”) issued on June 28, 2022, which provides additional explanations on the tax return filing method and period, withholding and payment, tax base, and enjoyment of preferences of stamp tax as follows:
I. Tax Return Filing Method
The Announcement stipulates that, taxpayers shall, based on the taxable contracts, documents of transfer of property rights, and business account books concluded by them, fill out the Detailed Statement on Stamp Tax Sources and file property and behavior tax returns on a consolidated basis. In other words, if a taxpayer has several activities that require payment of stamp tax within a same period, it may file tax returns on a consolidated basis.
II. Tax Return Filing Period
According to the Stamp Tax Law, stamp tax shall be calculated and levied on a quarterly, yearly or transaction-by-transaction basis. The Announcement further points out that the returns of stamp tax on taxable contracts and documents of transfer of property rights may be filed on a quarterly or transaction-by-transaction basis, and the returns of stamp tax on taxable business account books may be filed on a yearly or transaction-by-transaction basis. In addition, if a taxpayer is an overseas entity or individual, it or he/she may file tax returns on a quarterly, yearly or transaction-by-transaction basis.
As far as the tax return filing period is concerned, according to the Stamp Tax Law, if stamp tax is calculated and levied on a quarterly or yearly basis, the taxpayer shall file and pay the tax within fifteen days from the end of the quarter or year; if stamp tax is calculated and levied on a transaction-by-transaction basis, the taxpayer shall file and pay the tax within fifteen days from the date on which a liability to stamp tax arises. The Announcement provides that the specific periods for tax return filing shall be determined by the tax administrations of all provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the Central Government, and cities under separate state planning in light of actual circumstances of tax collection administration. Therefore, taxpayers are advised to confirm the local tax return filing period with the local competent authorities in a timely manner.
III. Withholding and Payment
According to the Stamp Tax Law, if a taxpayer is an overseas entity or individual and has an agent within the territory of the People’s Republic of China, the domestic agent shall be the withholding agent; if it or he/she has no domestic agent, the taxpayer shall file and pay stamp tax by itself or himself/herself, for which the specific method shall be prescribed by the taxation department of the State Council. Therefore, the Announcement specifies that if an overseas taxpayer has a domestic agent, the domestic agent shall file and pay stamp tax with the competent tax authority in the place where the domestic agent’s establishment is located (the domestic agent resides); if an overseas taxpayer has no domestic agent, whether the taxpayer is an organization or an individual, the stamp tax may be filed and paid to the competent tax authority in the place where assets are delivered, the relevant domestic service provider or receiver is located (resides), or the person concluding the taxable voucher is located (resides). If the transfer of property rights of real estate is involved, the stamp tax shall be filed and paid to the competent tax authority in the place where the real estate is located.
IV. Tax Base
According to the Stamp Tax Law, where a taxable contract or a document of transfer of any property right does not specify the value amount, the tax base for stamp tax shall be determined based on the value amount actually settled. The Announcement further stipulates that in such case, the taxpayer shall declare the conclusion of the taxable contract or document of transfer of any property right in the first tax return filing period for the conclusion of the taxable contract or document of transfer of any property right, and calculate and file a return of stamp tax based on the actually settled amount in the next tax return filing period after the actual settlement and pay the stamp tax.
V. Enjoyment of Preferences
Regarding the enjoyment of stamp tax preferences, the Announcement provides that after the implementation of the Stamp Tax Law, taxpayers’ enjoyment of preferential stamp tax policies shall continue to apply the way of “self-judgment, declaration and enjoyment and retention of relevant information for inspection”. Taxpayers shall bear legal responsibility for the authenticity, completeness and legality of the information retained for inspection. However, it should be noted that with the implementation of the Stamp Tax Law, some of original preferential stamp tax policies also ceased to be implemented. If necessary, it is recommended to refer to the Announcement of the Ministry of Finance and the State Taxation Administration on Issues Concerning the Transition of Relevant Preferential Policies after the Stamp Tax Law Took Effect (Announcement  No. 23 of the Ministry of Finance and the State Taxation Administration).
In conclusion, the implementation of the new Stamp Tax Law has changed the taxable objects, tax rates and tax return filing methods. As such, it is recommended that enterprises should promptly pay attention to the changes and make adjustments to the corresponding matters to avoid tax non-compliance or overpayment.